Company Man
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Company Man

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Alternative


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"Company Man - The Headless"

Steve Slovacek’s story is fascinating, he grew up a closeted-homosexual/atheist in a devout Mormon family. While in college at BYU, he dropped out and eventually ended up in New York City. New York starts scaring the hell out of Steve, so he moves with his parents in the Czech Republic to a Mormon church in Prague. With an EP already under his belt, the Czech Republic offers Steve a new space to begin working on his first full-length album. Except he’s not really in the position to record in style. He uses Radio Shack microphones, a desktop computer, two laptops, Cool Edit Pro, and Adobe Audition Software. Not exactly what Phil Spector would have set up. The instruments are rickety acoustic guitars and a few others are bought on eBay, learned quickly and then sold off. The percussion is made up of kitchen utensils, handclapping, and a lot of other resourceful items. This is Company Man; broken and kept together by Scotch tape.

Company Man, for its simplicity of instruments, is not simple in sound. It can’t be described in one sentence. Sometimes you’ll find foot-stomping pop songs with a tight groove, and sometimes there are laid-back reflections. It should go without saying that this is a lo-fi recording, so instruments tend to bleed together taking the vocals down with it. This grittiness fits Company Man perfectly, because Slovacek’s melodies are slow burners. There isn’t a hook to them that makes them immediately accessible, but he keeps pushing the melody up against the deformity that is that music and watches his melody flourish. In no way a disrespect to Slovacek – and a compliment if anything – this record isn’t about him. His melodies are an afterthought behind the star of the record, the instrumentation, which I’m sure Slovacek recorded anyway. The instrumentation is mad-genius great. The music is a constant flurry of homemade noise, held together with thick basslines. “A Cancer in Her Lungs” is the best example of this and it’s the album’s best song. Everything chaotic comes together to make a fully formed song with a terrific rhythm, giving the piece a memorable hook.

Songs like “22 in 2005,” “Children,” ”The Safer Parts of the City,” and “Utah” are winners, as is almost every other song. It’s certainly an interesting listen, just to hear the noises mesh together. But The Headlessis very good, more than just a parlor trick where a guy uses knives and forks to make sounds. Not just a solid debut, but something legitimately making a splash that deserves to be checked out. - Delusions of Adequacy

"Album Review... The Headless/Company Man"

Company Man Steve Slovacek has struggled to make this album, but was it worth the struggle?
Here is a brief history of Company Man to make you realise just how special this album is: Steve Slovacek grew up in a Morman family, and went to Utah's Brigham Young University. This didn't work well for Steve as he was a 'homosexual-atheist-Mormon' and so he left and ended up in the big NYC. After releasing his LP he was encouraged to create a full album. So he did.

Now, recording techniques – the list of equipment he did use includes three radio shack microphones, 'lots of kitchen utensils', one pan, two pots, loose change, free weights and hand clapping. Equipment he didn’t use: electric guitars, amps, drumkit, Apple computer. When an instrument was needed for recording it was brought on eBay, recorded, and then resold.

So with all that information in mind, this album is incredible. It's an album of pretty, honest tracks with Imogen Heap style recording and Paolo Nutini style folky niceness, mixed with up tempo tracks ready for dancing to. It’s not the heavy, depressing album it could be given his influences.

Diamonds starts with some Bowie style weirdness, and goes on to a Muse 'Resistance' style ending. Followed by Bugs (Diamonds pt. 2), a piano led, vocally distorted, urgent track. The melody to children is occasionally reminiscent of What's Up by 4 Non Blondes. This is just a selection of brief comparisons as an example of the the diversity of this album. My only negative point is that The Safer Parts Of The City features the worst noise I have ever heard, really loud static briefly covering the choruses.

This is an album that's genre breaking (not just bending) and there will be something on here for everyone. - Subba Cultcha

"Sweet Mormon Singer is Living in New York on 25 Dollars a Week"

(It's a long interview)
applicable excerpt:

"We got the album in the mail a few weeks ago and for all the disparate tastes in the BUTT office, we all agreed it’s actually a pretty good album – kind of low-fi, indie folk like The Microphones or Iron & Wine. Steve started writing the album to explore his religious upbringing and his experience being a fag in a Mormon household but then took the songs a step further, creating strange anti-hymns that aren’t quite about either of those things." - Butt Magazine


2006 - The Radiator Theory EP
2010 - The Headless



Company Man is the creation of Brooklyn, NY-based musician Steven Slovacek. Born into a family of six devout Mormons, Steve was raised in the Tampa, Florida branch of the Church of Latter Day Saints. At his parents’ request, he attended college at Utah’s Brigham Young University, a decision that ultimately conflicted with his lifestyle as a closeted-homosexual-atheist-Mormon…and, like most closeted-homosexual-atheist-Mormons, he dropped out and (eventually) ended up in New York City.
After settling in a cramped Brooklyn brownstone, Company Man began recording on a couple of bottom-barrel Radio Shack microphones, an aging desktop computer and an arsenal of half-broken acoustic guitars. Large metal objects substitute for drums, kitchen utensils are used to create guitar noise, vocals are recorded through telephones, etc. When a banjo or clarinet is needed, they are ordered on eBay a few days prior to recording, quickly learned, recorded and then resold at auction a few days later.

The Radiator Theory EP is completed a few months later and after receiving encouragement from friends and family, Steve begins work on a full length album. Adele Romanski (vocals on “The Circus”), Filipe Bessa (saxophone on “The Murder of Our Brother Joseph” and “The Circus”) and Nick Schwartz (lyrics/production/percussion on “22 in 2005”) are eventually brought on board to help flesh out the record. Though not permanent members of the band, they will officially make up the remaining ¾ of Company Man during the recording process.

''The Headless'' recording sessions begin as an attempt to explore the origin and history of the Mormon Church, but within the first few months of writing, the conceit wears thin and Steve begins writing songs about the experience of growing up gay in a Mormon family.

Two years of writing/recording, a flooded apartment, multiple bedbug infestations, a failed film career and one eviction notice later, Steve finds the majority of his writings have become obsessed with a sense of dread and fear of his life in New York City. After completing a demo of “Walter, You’ve Been Warned,” Steve sells off his stuff, leaves NYC and moves to the Czech Republic where he lives with his missionary parents at a Mormon church in Prague. Over the next five months, the church proves to be an ideal space to continue working on an album that is now less concerned with LDS history or gay-oppression, and mostly a strange amalgam of church imagery, childhood memories and urban paranoia.

The album is finished a year later while living at The Friendship Cove, a 19th century urban dairy turned music venue/recording studio/“house-hole” by artist Jack Dylan and musician Graham Van Pelt in Montreal, Canada.

With the release of “The Headless,” Steve has set out to establish a permanent lineup to play local shows, tour and (hopefully) create a much more communal recording process. Steve claims any new record is going to “sound a lot faggier,” but to be honest, we’re not really sure what he means by that.